Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Lets Talk" Blogfest

Sign up and participate in this dialogue extravaganza at http://fictiongroupie.blogspot.com/
Here is my entry from, MORE THAN KARMA:

Late in the night, Karma stared across the dim room at her bags lined up against the wall. She knew nothing would ever be the same. Once she left, it was the end of an era. Her childhood was beyond her grasp forever. Memories and thoughts came like spirits, uninvited to torment her. Branches tapped at her window--or were they branches? Another tap, louder than before came from the glass, and then two more. Someone was throwing rocks at her window. In surprise she wiped her eyes, and went to the window. It was eleven thirty at night and Steven stood under the tree beneath her window.

She tried to quell her excitement as she clicked on the lamp and pushed the window open.

“Hey. Were you sleeping?” He called up with a loud whisper, the lamplight illuminating him gently.

“No . . . trying to. What’re you doing?” Looking at him was heavenly and sad at the same time.

“Michelle took off today . . . she got back late tonight and was crying in her room. Know anything about that?” Steven asked.

“Oh.” Karma looked away for a moment.

“She finally told us--she’s totally bummed” Steven said.

“I know. It’s hard. I’m going to miss her too.” Karma gazed down at him in her oversized T- shirt and messy hair. She was too sad to think about how she must look.

“Everyone’s going to miss you. So, my summer vacation is going to stink,” he said.

“Oh, right, because your little sister’s best friend is leaving” Karma pursed her lips.

Steven grabbed at some low hanging leaves and mindlessly plucked them from the branch.

“Hey . . . you’re my friend, too.” He said.

“What a relief.” It was hard to keep the bitterness out of her voice.

Steven raised his eyebrows. Awkward pause.

“I thought I’d see you after Prom. So I’m a one night stand, huh?” He smiled that smile.

Even now, Karma couldn’t help smiling a little too. “I’ve been busy, as you can imagine. And you had company.”

“Yeah,” he nodded.

“One girl at a time not enough for you? How typical.” Karma folded her arms and shivered slightly.

“Typical?” Steven reared his head back comically.

“Yeah, of men.” She tossed her hair in dramatized contempt.

“Wow. Anyway, I just wanted to come say goodbye.” Steven’s shoulders dropped a bit.

“Goodbye then.” Why was she being rude? She was leaving, there was no point taking it out on him, he had done nothing.

Steven stood in place looking at his shoes. Karma waited for him to tell her goodbye. Steven stepped closer, looking up with concern. “So, you’re feeling bad about that guy, right?”

Who? Karma was confused for a moment. “Daniel?”

“Yeah, that ‘cutest guy in school’ who went skating in barf. He hurt you.” Steven stated it as if it just hit him.

Karma felt something squeeze her heart. She couldn’t answer. Daniel was the furthest person from her mind right now.

“You don’t have to tell me . . . but how bad? I mean, is your mom sending you away because he . . . did something to you?” Steven stammered his face serious.

Karma stared. It was dim, but she thought his cheeks reddened.

“You guys were pretty serious, weren’t you?” Steven looked away.

“Are you asking if we had . . . sex?” Karma blushed.

“It’s not my business-- but I care because you’re like my . . . little sister.” Steven said kicking at the grass.

Karma considered telling him the truth, but, she decided to punish him for hurting her. “Is that why you came tonight? You think I’m being banished?”

“It’s so sudden. I thought you seemed kind of uncomfortable at the dance and Michelle told me you cried for days about him. If I were still a minor I’d beat the snot out of him.” He said the last part, looking down, in a quieter voice.

It was confusing to be flattered and insulted all at once; to care about him, and want him to care back in the same way. But at the same time she wanted to push him away. Was there a need to push him away? He had Christina. No, she had to pull away.

“I appreciate your protectiveness . . . but I don’t want to talk about it. And I’m not your little sister.” Or haven’t you ever noticed, Karma silently grieved.

Steven looked into her window, the light held his face with transparent hands. He blinked a few times, there was nothing to say. He nodded, bit his lip and held one hand up.

“Goodbye, Featherhead. Good luck. Maybe, I’ll see you on the beach someday.” The smile was back and Karma soaked it in aching with affection.

“Bye, Steven . . . thanks.” Karma mustered a smile, all the while her heart felt like it leaked hot liquid. She willed him to stay, to climb the tree and come to her window, to hold her and comfort her the way only he could.

Another bob of his head and Steven backed up several steps. Karma thought she saw a wet gleam in his eyes as he turned away. He moved toward the gray house down the street, he seemed to carry away her childhood with him as he went. Would she ever look out this window toward the Benders’ house, again? He didn’t look back, and Karma watched until the dark shadows of a moonless night absorbed him. She flooded her pillow with tears before finally falling asleep.


Kristen said...

This was really good. So sad :( I love how descriptive your writing is and the dialogue was so natural. Awesome job!!! (and now I'm hooked, I have so many questions, like why is she leaving?!?! lol)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

"The light held his face with transparent hands."

Great line.

How much should have been said between the two of them that weren't. A great realistic give/take/miss the point entirely conversation between two teens.

Do you think God sighs much as He listens to us get it all wrong when two of His children talk about everything but what is important?

You did a great entry. Thanks for letting me read, Roland

Laraine Eddington said...

I enjoyed this. I think I would have liked some of the lines of dialogue without the description of what the character is thinking. Let your dialogue speak for itself more. Great job.

Write Chick said...

As always, brilliant. It is so interesting looking at a piece of writing away from the whole. You picked a great section. :-)


Most enjoyable, it was so interesting to read.

Have a good day.


Patricia A. Timms said...

I'm so intrigued by Karma. I wish I could read more.

Thanks for posting this.


Angie said...

Nice job. That was so poignant. Even without any background on the characters, I could feel what they were feeling.

Will Burke said...

I'm really impressed at your ability to "show, not tell." And I agree with Kristen about how natural the dialogue is.

Mark and Kiss said...

Love it!!! I also appreciated Roland's comment above, I never thought of it that way. To wonder what God and the angels think as they hear us totally miss the point, whether through insecurity or selfishness or miss-communication...

Fun section to read, I love Karma!

Margo Berendsen said...

A couple of your lines really jumped out at me:

"Looking at him was heavenly and sad at the same time."

"the light held his face with transparent hands"

Beautiful... and it matches the sadness of this conversation very well. Even without having any background, I could tell pretty easily what's going on and maybe even guess some other things.

One suggestion: cut back on a few of the dialogue tags. since it's only two people conversing, no need to tag every line, it's easy to know which one is talking.

And the nickname, Featherhead, that was interesting - makes me wonder how that nickname came about!

The Damsel In Dis Dress said...

neat blog! I'll come back to read more.

Angela M. said...

Ooh, mysterious! I wanna know why she's leaving. What did Daniel do? Steven went to Prom with her and now he's with some other chick??? What a jerk! I bet it's a misunderstanding. Sneaking to her in the middle of the night? Definitely not brotherly. Heh, heh, I want to read more obviously...

Jojomama said...

Great feedback everyone! Thanks!!

Victoria Dixon said...

That's got some lovely emotion in it.

Susan Fields said...

Oh, that's so sad. I really feel her emotion. It's so well written! It definitely makes me want to know more about these two.

The Urban Cowboy said...

Your entry is awesome, and I really, really want to know why she is leaving. Very intriguing.

Jemi Fraser said...

Powerful. You've captured the young emotions very well :)

Jojomama said...

I'm feelin' the love. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

joleene said...

Totally dug it Jojo! You go girl!

Tara said...

Oh, so sad. Poignant. And great teen angst.

A story I'd love to read. I need answers ;)

Kathleen and Stephan Seable said...

Good example of how we sometimes "shoot ourselves in the foot" when we are too afraid to be honest with each other about how we feel. Love, mom

Anonymous said...

This reads beautifully. The dialogue is pretty, and sad. I really like the name-Karma. And many lines as mentioned in previous comments. And "her heart felt like it leaked hot liquid." A burning heart. Very, very good!

WritersBlockNZ said...

Love the name Karma. You captured her feelings so beautifully. Got a bit confused as to whether he was wearing the t-shirt or she was lol. Great back and forth conversation - flowed really well.

Heidi said...

This section didn't even allude to any of the "karma" part of the story, and yet people are sucked in. Very good! :) Readers, there is so much more than meets the eye. You're gonna love this book!

Jade said...

You had some beautiful lines in there. I really enjoyed it.

Thanks for sharing!

Mary Anne Gruen said...

Poor Karma! And Steven...can't he get a clue! Or is he afraid she's too young to mess with?

I love your descriptions. And I'm intrigued by the female lead's name. Where does it come from?

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Some beautiful writing here and a touching story. Their dialogue was so real as they held back, afraid to let the other in. Wonderful.

Claudine 'Nino' Parks said...

Finally, I get to read something of yours! Yay! Ah, teen angst, feelings, drama, mis-communications. You captured it very well in this piece!!!